Ecclestone May Pay Over Quarter Billion to Avoid German Jail – Is That So?

From ESPN F1

Bernie Ecclestone could pay to settle bribery charges against him and avoid a prison sentence of up to 10 years, according to a report in the Mail on Sunday.

The newspaper quotes Ecclestone’s lawyer, Sven Thomas, as saying once the trial begins, a deal could be done with prosecutors. “I don’t think that we can achieve a settlement before the trial starts. During trials settlements are always possible but not before.”

This was confirmed by a spokeswoman for the state court in Munich who said: “According to German legal procedure, there is the possibility during the trial to stop the proceedings in return for payment of an agreed sum of money to a charitable institution or the treasury, if the accused, the public prosecutors and also the court agrees with it.”

The newspaper said that while it was not clear how much money would be needed it was expected to be in the region of £240 million. This would equate to the approximate sum bank BayernLB claims it lost.

While this is all possible in theory – and under German law it is quite above board – there is no indication yet that this is being seriously considered by Ecclestone who has always maintained his innocence and his determination to fight the case.

MyTake

In a word, UNBELIEVABLE!!!! Need I say anymore? Ok twist my arm. Well my first reaction, you have got to be kidding me, right? The second, how is that possible? This however, is not a rant against Bernie and I am not saying he did or didn’t do anything wrong. It is just the idea that one can pay his way out of an alleged criminal wrong-doing is enlightening to say the least. Then again what is the difference between paying your speeding ticket to the courts (which in full disclosure I have done more than once) and what is being reported as possible? (Besides about 240 million pounds.) You could also claim this is not too different from paying a lawyer for your defense. Lawyers are part of any legal system so paying them is also similar to paying the courts to prevent any punishment. I guess the old saying is false, money can solve all your problems now can’t it? I am only slightly familiar with the proceeding against Ecclestone and I can’t see him wanting to give up with out a fight but if you have a crap-load of money then you can see the logic in it. Still seems unbelievable…

-jp-

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